Sharing the Planet with Neanderthals

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  • #32415

    _Robert_
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    I was talking to my sweetheart and we were trying to imagine what us homo sapiens would be like if the Neanderthals had survived along side of us. In what ways would we be different. Would we cross breed regularly to this day? Would we all be more robustly built? Would we share religions and technology with them. Would we be waring and taking each other as slaves?

    #32417

    Unseen
    Participant

    I was talking to my sweetheart and we were trying to imagine what us homo sapiens would be like if the Neanderthals had survived along side of us. In what ways would we be different. Would we cross breed regularly to this day? Would we all be more robustly built? Would we share religions and technology with them. Would we be waring and taking each other as slaves?

    a) Neanderthals were not the semi-gorillas they’ve often been depicted as being in the movies and even in older science.

    b) You probably have neanderthal DNA. Most people do. So already we were interbreeding with them. Perhaps we absorbed them rather than defeating them. So, perhaps we are really Homo sapiens neanderthalus. About 1.5% to 2.1% of the DNA of anyone outside Africa is Neanderthal in origin. That may sound small, but about 90% of our DNA is garbage contributing nothing to who we are. In that case, multiply the neanderthal genes by about 10 for a more accurate picture.

    c) At some point, Neanderthals as a distinct genetically-pure population did disappear from the scene. It’s unlikely we’ll ever know for sure why, but there are theories including disease, climate change, being outcompeted for food by the sapiens subspecies, and a new one, incest since they apparently lived in small family groups rather than communities. Interbreeding tends to pass along genetic flaws and magnify them. At the same time, some may have joined sapiens communities and been absorbed, explaining how their DNA got into ours.

    Another theory: the path to extinction may well have been the most common and innocuous of childhood illnesses — and the bane of every parent of young children — chronic ear infections.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Unseen.
    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Unseen.
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